Negative feedback for Mo. House committee's redistricting map | St. Louis Public Radio

Negative feedback for Mo. House committee's redistricting map

Mar 31, 2011

A State House committee’s plan to redraw Missouri’s congressional districts is drawing fire from both urban and rural residents and from both political parties.

The state is losing a seat in Congress based on the latest U.S. Census figures.

Republican Marc Ellinger is the presiding Commissioner for Cole County, located in central Missouri and home to the State Capital.  He doesn’t like the proposed map that puts his county and Jefferson City into the same congressional district with portions of metro St. Louis.

“The current map, from my analysis, indicates that approximately half the population will actually be (the) St. Louis metropolitan area," Ellinger told the House Committee on Redistricting.  "(That) does not, I think, serve the best interest of my constituents in Cole County, of the folks in Central Missouri, and frankly, of the state as a whole.”

State Representative Joe Aull (D, Marshall) also expressed concern that his rural home county, Saline, would be lumped in with the urban Kansas City congressional district.

Meanwhile, St. Louis resident Martin Baker suggested that some city and suburban citizens would be underrepresented.

“Now, I’m not asking, obviously, nor are the citizens of the city...asking for any sort of preferential treatment here…no, that is not my intent," Baker said.  "We just want to make sure that we are heard.”

Committee chair John Diehl (R, Town and Country) defends the proposed map as fair and the best plan he’s seen so far.

Democrats on the committee are expected to unveil their own proposal next week.